2021 Amendments to the Chicago Plumbing Code

October 27, 2021

On October 19, 2021, a series of amendments to the Chicago Plumbing Code took effect. For a summary of the amendments, click here. For a copy of the full ordinance, click here. These amendments will be reflected in the next update to the online Municipal Code hosted by American Legal Publishing before the end of the year.

In the coming months, the Department of Buildings plans to issue explanatory materials and interpretations regarding the 2021 Amendments. On October 25, 2021, the Department issued Code Interpretation P7-2021-001 regarding use of PVC in a mixed-occupancy building. Additional materials will be posted on the Modernizing Chicago’s Construction Codes webpage.

In accordance with Article XV, Section 1 of the ordinance, these amendments are now optional for any project permitted under the 2019 Chicago Building Code or 2019 Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code, but you must comply with all provisions of the amendments—you cannot pick and choose. These amendments will become mandatory for any permit application started on or after March 1, 2022. (Note: the amendments do not apply to permits issued under the pre-2019 Chicago Building Code.)

Future Permit Applications

If you have not submitted your permit application yet, you may follow the amendments when preparing your permit application and construction documents. You should indicate on the cover sheet that the applicable plumbing code is the “2001 CHICAGO PLUMBING CODE WITH 2021 AMENDMENTS.”

Pending Permit Applications

Permit applications which are in the process of being reviewed may be revised to reflect the 2021 Amendments before permit issuance. Please notify your assigned Project Manager (PM) or Project Administrator (PA) if design changes are made after the initial round of review for reasons other than responding to comments/corrections.

Revision to an Issued Permit

If you have already been issued a building permit, you may apply for a revision permit to change the scope of permitted work. The revision permit application will require revised construction documents (drawings).

Revision to an Issued Permit – Use of PVC for Entirely Residential Buildings

As a limited exception to the standard revision permit process, the Department will allow the material of drainage and vent piping in an entirely residential building to be changed using the Easy Permit Process (EPP). In addition to the standard EPP application, you must complete a copy of Form EPP DWV (Change Drainage and Vent Pipe Material – Residential Building) completed by a licensed architect, structural engineer, or plumber.

Changes to drainage and vent piping materials in a mixed-occupancy building must follow the standard revision permit process.

Revision to an Issued Sewer Permit

Changes to building sewer pipe materials (more than 60 inches outside the building foundation) require a sewer permit. Contact sewer permit staff for details.

Revision to an Issued Water Service Permit

Changes to a water service line or water meter require a water permit. Contact the Water Plan Desk for details.


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